30 Mar 2021 | Online
10:00 - 15:00

Event prices

Private Sector

£345 +VAT

Public Sector

£195 +VAT £145* +VAT

*If registering more than 1 place


Embedding digital comms into Public Sector DNA

Following a year where communications have been forced online, how have public sector organisations risen to the challenge of embracing, leveraging, and optimising social media as the channel to engage our citizens?

COVID-19 has cemented the value social media offers as a mass audience channel to deliver important and timely messages, as well as managing effective crisis communications. But with great power, comes great responsibility and with the pace of change showing no sign of slowing, communications and marketing leaders face some huge challenges when it comes to keeping abreast of tools and strategies to optimise thier social media efforts.

Join us for the 6th edition of The Public Sector Social Media Conference and leave feeling inspired with lots of fresh ideas, practical takeaways, and innovative problem-solving strategies. Our expert speakers - representing both large and small public sector organisations - will provide top tips to refresh the scope, depth, and creativity of your social media campaigns.

Key agenda themes include:

  • Recognising the opportunities that social media brings to the public sector, during times of crisis and beyond
  • Exploring which innovative channels work best to deploy your social media strategy, and why! 
  • Understanding the best tips and tools for taking a proactive approach to the rise of misinformation
  • Transforming strategies to deliver world class customer experience through social media 
  • Learning how to change your voice to engage your community



Welcome from the Chair

Justin Clark, Founder and Managing Director, JustSocial


Keynote: The Thick of It

  • How the pandemic has changed the way we communicate
  • Responding to the coronavirus pandemic from the front line
  • The essentials of adapting comms and managing social media during times of crisis

Alicia Custis, Associate Director of Communications, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust


Keynote: Free Your Mind

  • Using research and behavioural insights to have real impact with your audience
  • Rapid testing for optimised campaign results
  • Maximising paid social

Russell Cartwright, Assistant Director of Communications and Engagement, NHS South East London CCG


Comfort Break


Tik Tok in the Public Sector

  • The evolution of TikTok as a channel
  • A “How To” guide: Using TikTok to deliver public information
  • Implementing TikTok into your marketing strategy

Anu Hautalampi, Head of Social Media and AV, University of Cambridge


Social Listening - Turning Data into Action to Better Understand the Public

  • Social listening: what it is and how can it benefit you?
  • The next generation of traditional market research methods
  • Practical tips on how to better understand the public with social listening
  • Using social listening to optimise your campaigns, strategy and services

Mercedes Bull, Product Marketing Manager, Brandwatch




Influencers and the Public Sector

  • Measuring the value of influencer relationships in a non-commercial environment
  • Identifying and assessing potential social media partnerships
  • How to use social media influencers in public sector campaigns
  • What to do when partnered campaigns go wrong?

Drew Benvie, CEO & Founder, Battenhall


Private Sector Perspective: From Corporate to Conversation - How to Change Your Voice to Engage Your Community

  • Developing the right tone of voice for communicating with your community
  • Ways to embed tone of voice into your everyday practises
  • Eroding differences between sectors: lessons learned from the private sector

Ollie Ratcliffe, Digital Communications Specialist, Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate


Panel Discussion: Segmentation, Sequencing and Synchronisation

  • Evolution of social media channels and how use them
  • Understanding the importance of choreographing communications
  • Managing dissemination of content across multiple channels

Nana Crawford, Social Media Manager, British Red Cross 

Amy Mollett, Head of Social Media, The Parliamentary Digital Service

Alistair Beech, Heads of Social Media, The University of Manchester


Closing Remarks from the Chair


Alicia Custis
Associate Director of Communications, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

Alicia Custis is an award-winning communications specialist with over 20 years’ experience in corporate communications.

Following the saline poisoning incident at Stepping Hill Hospital in July 2011, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust immediately asked Alicia to come on board to lead communications around the incident and implementing an overall communications strategy for the organisation. The communications team subsequently won ‘Team of the Year’ at the national Association for Healthcare Communications & Marketing awards in 2013. 

Alicia is also involved with health and social care communications planning for Greater Manchester Devolution, as a member of the 'GM Devo' communications working group. 

She was previously head of communications at The Christie for 10 years. The Christie is the largest cancer centre in Europe, an international leader in cancer research and runs the second largest hospital charity in the UK. Her earlier experience includes six years working at PR agencies on a wide range of commercial accounts.

Twitter account: @AliciaCustis 

Anu Hautalampi
Head of Social Media and AV, University of Cambridge

Anu Hautalampi is the Head of Social Media and AV at the University of Cambridge. Together with her team she manages Cambridge University’s main social media channels with a total following of 4,5M. She has previously managed digital communications for public sector, charity and higher education organisations.

Twitter: @anuhautalampi 

Drew Benvie
CEO & Founder, Battenhall

Drew is the founder and CEO of multi award winning communications agency Battenhall, named 5x winner of the accolade of UK consultancy of the year 2020. He has 20 years of experience working in social media and communications, most recently in CEO roles.

Since launching Battenhall in 2013, Drew has built it up to an industry leading position, winning 16 'agency of the year' awards in our first seven years in business. Battenhall has been named best specialist agency in the UK for 2020 by the CIPR, social media agency of the year 2020 at the Global Digital Excellence Awards, PR Week small consultancy of the year 2020, and our work with NHS England won the most awards at the UK Social Media Awards 2020, including best campaign on Instagram, on TikTok and in the public sector.

Personally, Drew has been awarded the PRCA's outstanding contribution to digital comms award 2020; named UK's #1 most respected practitioner by New Media Age's Reputation Online report in 2011; was one of PR Week magazine's inaugural 29 under 29; and is a regular in the PR Week Power Book.

Drew also wrote the Wikipedia page on social media.

Nana Crawford
Social Media Manager, British Red Cross

Nana Crawford is the award-winning Social Media Manager for the British Red Cross. With over a decade of experience in leading on seamless and effective social media strategies, pushing creative boundaries and challenging perceptions, she’s worked across retail, hospitality and entertainment, government and now the charity sector. Nana manages an innovative and creative social media team, who have brought new life into the channels of the British Red Cross and raised over £90,000 through a partnership with TikTok for the British Red Cross.

Russell Cartwright
Assistant Director of Communications and Engagement, NHS South East London CCG

Russell Cartwright is a senior, award winning, communications and marketing leader with over 20 years of experience managing teams and leading communications, marketing, PR, events, public engagement, and crisis management. He has worked in senior healthcare roles in the NHS since 2001, with a two year break at the General Medical Council, and is currently Assistant Director of Communications and Engagement at NHS South East London CCG. Recently he has developed his knowledge in using behavioural insight techniques and has seen the benefits of this evidence-based approach, running social media campaigns which have delivered real impact.      

Ollie Ratcliffe
Digital Communications Specialist, Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate

Ollie is a digital marketing specialist, with over 7 years of experience working on some of the UK's most recognisable brands and businesses. Hailing from a sales background, he made the switch into marketing at a young age, working for established nightlife chain Café Mambo on the sunny shores of Ibiza, creating viral content that delivered over 200 million impressions and over 500,000 new followers.

Since then, he’s worked in a multitude of sectors, driving 27% sales growth in travel, setting up six-figure income streams in the agency world, offline activations in the leisure sector and driving a 500% increase in social media engagements in the alcoholic drinks category.

He’s now focussing his attention on a brand much closer to home. Working as the Digital Communications specialist for household brands Yorkshire Tea and Taylors of Harrogate (FMCG). Bringing his own flair of “digital eccentricity” into the market including; a social distancing teapotFalling biscuit Instagram filters and the much needed – Teamoji.  

Alistair Beech
Heads of Social Media, The University of Manchester

Alistair Beech, Senior Social Media Coordinator, The University of Manchester - @OfficialUoM @alistairbeech on Twitter

Alistair is the Senior Social Media Coordinator at The University of Manchester, where he oversees the strategic direction of corporate channels and leads a hub of social media professionals across campus.

He is an experienced digital marketing and communications specialist with over twelve years’ experience in public and private sector roles, including agency and in-house. CIM-certified, Alistair has spent the last seven years working in Higher Education and is a regular conference presenter and trainer.

Amy Mollett
Head of Social Media, The Parliamentary Digital Service

Amy Mollett is Head of Social Media at the UK Parliament. She leads a team who use social media to communicate the work of Parliament to over 2.5 million people, covering everything from livestreaming PMQs on YouTube to Big Ben Instagram quizzes.

Before joining UK Parliament, Amy was Social Media Manager at the London School of Economics, where she built the university’s first social media strategy and launched the most-followed Instagram channel in UK Higher Education. 

Amy also played a leading role in LSE’s award-winning academic blogs, as editor of LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog and LSE Review of Books. With her fellow blog editors, Amy is co-author of Communicating Your Research with Social Media: A Practical Guide to Using Blogs, Podcasts, Data Visualisations and Video (SAGE: 2017). 

Amy is on Twitter @amybmollett and LinkedIn.

Mercedes Bull
Product Marketing Manager, Brandwatch

Having spent over six years working alongside global brands including American Express, L'Oréal, and Unilever, Mercedes' experience spans broadly across marketing. At Brandwatch, Mercedes is responsible for the launch of new products and features to ensure that Brandwatch customers are set up for success.

Twitter: @mercedeslois  

Justin Clark
Founder and Managing Director, JustSocial

Justin is a social media and digital crisis communications specialist with more than 10 years’ experience leading social media, PR and digital communications in Government and the public sector, both in the UK and overseas.

A regular keynote speaker at major social media conferences across the UK and Europe, Justin previously spoke at the Dods Public Sector Social Media Conference in London and chaired the conference in Manchester and Sheffield. Justin runs Manchester’s fastest growing social media industry event series (SocialMCR) and judges some of the world’s biggest industry awards, including the UK, US and Global social media, marketing, and content awards.

Justin runs social media consulting firm, JustSocial, where he provides strategic counsel and operational advice to some of the world’s biggest brands. Justin also works as a Non-Executive Director and Social Media Director for multiple UK agencies. 

Who should attend?

Heads of Crisis Communications - Heads of Corporate Communications - Heads of Communications - Heads of Correspondence - Heads of Digital - Heads of Internal Communications - Heads of News - Heads of Operations - Heads of PR - Heads of Social Media - Heads of Strategy

Previous delegates to related events include professionals with the following job titles:

  • Digital Engagement Officer

  • Communities & Engagement Lead

  • Head of External Communications

  • Social Media Manager

  • Communications Manager

  • Senior Customer Services Manager

  • Head of Campaign

  • Digital Content Manager

  • Strategic Communications Adviser

  • Senior Press Officer

From organisations including:

  • Care Inspectorate

  • Department of Justice

  • NHS Bolton CCG

  • Welsh Government

  • The Royal Academy of Engineering

  • HM Land Registry

  • University of Southampton

  • Network Rail

  • Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

  • HM Treasury

How much does it cost to attend the Social Media Conference?

Public Sector & Not for Profit  | 1 Place: £195 | 2+ Places: £145 each
Private Sector | 1 Place: £395

Prices above exclude VAT

Where will the event take place?

Due to current uncertainty surrounding live events and restrictions around social distancing, this event will take place online on Zoom webinar.

Will there be interaction in an online event?

There will be opportunities throughout the day to put your questions to all of our speakers as well as active participation in panel discussions.

Is this a CPD certified event?

All of our events are CPD certified. This event is equivalent to 3 CPD points. A certificate is available on request post-event to all attendees.

When do I receive joining instructions?

We will be sending out joining instructions to all delegates a couple of weeks prior to the conference with details on how to login to the online platform.

Will the presentations from the sessions be available after the event?

Access to presentations and videos from each conference session will be provided to delegates after the event.


If you have any questions regarding our events or wish to attend an event, please contact our Customer Services team on 0207 593 5739 or via email.